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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/88

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84
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

PSM V72 D088 Icelandic farm.png

Icelandic Farm.

the most picturesque of the Iceland rivers—the Bruaau—or, at least, seen under the splendid blaze of the noonday sun, its snowy tresses and leaping crested waves appeared so. Formerly the dismayed tourist crossed it at a ford higher up than the present position of a very reassuring bridge, and the passage could not have been always easy. The water pours into a long medial crevice—splitting the basaltic floor of the stream—from either side, and, though the fall is slight, the concussion of the opposed tides is vehement enough to drive it up into turbulent waves that rush down the polished slope, below the crevice, in tumultuous disorder. At Geyser the visitor has arrived at a silicious ridge, undermined by tortuous passages, tubes and chimneys, which issue on the surface in a great number of holes, and, as Kuchler remarks, make a sieve of the ground. Some of these holes are gasping out a little sulphuretted steam, others are sputtering hopelessly with no results, others are quite lifeless, but present warm edges and yellow-stained throats; still other large circles are full to the brim of a pale green, beautifully clear, hot water, and you look down into chambers veiled and curtained with creamy geyserite. Many of